What’s that I can see up there? It’s hurting my eyes!
Yep, that’s right, this weekend we were reminded that the sky is actually blue, the sun is really bright and how nice it can feel on your skin.
I am not a fan of summer – hot baking sun + a skin so pale it is practically transparent = annoyingly frequent applications of factor 30 vs. trying desperately not to turn into a bright red coral lobster while your friends bask gloriously in sunny patches while you seek the shade.
However, spring I can do. The sun comes out but it is not too hot or too strong and there is the promise of something new in the air.
In fact, I met a friend for lunch on Friday and we were brave and sat outside. Outside! And we had a glass of wine. Does anything signal the arrival of spring more than alfresco dining and cheeky lunch-time glasses of wine? Even if you do still have to wear your cardigan and borrow your friend’s sunglasses because you foolishly thought you wouldn’t need yours.
Now, this breakfast loaf is perfect for warmer, sunnier mornings. I ate it for breakfast five days in a row last week. Honest. And it was as good on day 5 as it was on day 1.
Wrapped in cling-film and placed in an air-tight container, it will keep really well. I could probably have eeked it out for 6 days, but I decided to throw caution to the wind on the last day and have two chunky pieces.
On day 4 I did try to toast it under the grill. But it didn’t really work. The very edges got crispy, but there is so much moisture in it that it would have to be grilled / toasted for a long time. So long in fact there is a chance the edges would be completely burnt. Also, when you warm it up, it has a tendency to fall apart. Definitely stick to eating it cold. Or you can get away with still slightly warm from the oven.
Either way, I loved this breakfast loaf so much I am already thinking of different flavour variations. I think it will become a breakfast staple.
And yes, I know there are quite a few ingredients, but it is just a case of throwing them all together. The result is a moist, slightly chewy breakfast loaf, which reminds me somewhat of malt loaf – sticky and lightly spiced.
Date & Raisin Breakfast Loaf
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates
- 2/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup gram flour, aka chickpea / garbanzo bean flour
- 1/2 cup sweet rice flour, aka glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup fine or medium cornmeal
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 cup (30ml) honey
- 1/4 cup mild olive oil
- 1/8 cup (30ml) unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3/4 cup raisins
- Pre-heat the oven to 175 Celsius / 155 fan / 350 Fahrenheit.
- Place the dates and orange juice in a small pan. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Grease and line a 1lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
- Sift the gram flour into a large bowl and then add the sweet rice flour, ground almonds, cornmeal, buckwheat flour, coconut sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and ground cloves.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, honey, oil, apple sauce and almond milk. Add the cooled dates and orange juice (it may still be slightly warm, but not so hot that it scrambles the egg).
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 45 – 55 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. (NB: can be eaten slightly warm, if you really can’t wait!)
Recipe adapted from Anna Olson